A central premise of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, as often repeated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has been the undeniable need for at least some Republicans to join the effort early on so that it has the appearance of bipartisanship — particularly given that a sizable number of Republicans in the Senate would ultimately need to defect in order for President Donald Trump to actually be removed from office.
Yet, not a single Republican in the House voted in favor of formalizing the impeachment inquiry last week, and now, a former top Democrat leader has called out Pelosi her colleagues for continuing to press forward with the impeachment effort, given the fact that “no one thinks 20 Republicans” in the Senate would cross the aisle and vote to convict Trump, The Hill reports.
Brown advises caution
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, writing in his regular op-ed column for the San Francisco Chronicle, advised his readers not to bet on impeachment being a “winner” for the Democratic Party as the 2020 elections draw near.
“If the goal was to damage President Trump by formalizing the impeachment inquiry, it’s Mission Unaccomplished for House Democrats,” Brown wrote. “If anything, the vote solidified Trump’s hold on power. There were zero GOP defections, meaning we have zero drama heading into the public phase of impeachment.”
Brown noted that, just like after all of the other anti-Trump investigations over the past couple of years — such as Russia collusion or obstruction of justice — everyone had more or less remained in the “same lanes” that they had occupied previously.
He pointed out that the gist of the Ukraine controversy was already well-known and understood by most people, that opinions on the matter were split fairly evenly, and that there would be little excitement or much reason for anyone to pay close attention to the impeachment effort as it moved forward.
GOP defections unlikely
“And when it gets to the Senate, it will play out just the same way,” Brown wrote. “Someone like Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah may break GOP ranks, but no one thinks 20 Republicans, the bare minimum who would have to defect to convict Trump, would actually do so.”
He continued: “So the Democrats will spend the next few precious months acting out a pretend cliffhanger to which everyone actually knows the script and the ending. No plot twists in sight.”
Brown then seemed to chastise Pelosi and House Democrats for their singular obsession with impeachment at the expense of the actual issues — such as health care — that helped earn them the majority in the 2018 midterm elections.
“Remember health care, the issue that won so many elections for Democrats in 2018? You might, but they don’t seem to,” he wrote. “Come next year, Trump will have an impeachment victory and quite possibly a solid economy. The Democrats will have — what?”
Tough pill for Dems to swallow
Pelosi and her impeachment-obsessed House Democrats certainly don’t want to hear what Brown — a seasoned, savvy politician in his own right– had to say about the ongoing impeachment effort that has sucked all of the oxygen out of Washington, D.C. and has prevented anything else from being accomplished.
He is absolutely correct, however, and the fact that no Republicans have joined in the effort is the strongest signal yet that the attempt to remove Trump from office is not only doomed to fail but could actually backfire and help ensure his re-election.